Image Credit: "Google Wave en la actualidad" by Rafa.GarcÃ©s on Flickr
My first thought with Google Wave was that this was something that was great, I could immediately see a bunch of uses for it…
- More feature rich chat medium
- Great for working collaboratively on creating text / documents.
- A half way point between email and chat for conversations that spam a couple of days (you know when you feel you’re having a conversation by email).
But I have to be honest I did think it was too much of a paradigm shift. It’s been said elsewhere, but I did think it would go the way of RSS where it was just too much of a different way of thinking for people to get it any time soon.
And then people in my contacts list started using it and I was surprised not just by how many but by whom. The people I’ve been waving with are mostly not the obvious web2.0 earlier adopters. And then I started seeing what people are doing with embedded gadgets and it’s power really started to become apparent.
Now something else has just occurred to me about Google Wave. It’s the perfect back channel. We all have people in our contact list that we send links, thoughts, questions, etc. to multiple times a day. Currently we either send emails, which is a pain a) because emails are too asynchronous, the paradigm is a letter and people feel obliged to craft a proper response and b) everyone battles with keeping on top of their inbox. Or we send links in chat which is too synchronous, the paradigm is a conversation and useful stuff is too easily lost in the chatter or we feel we’re interrupting and people are obliged respond (immediately).
Wave is the perfect semi-synchronous (i think I made that up) medium. You can drop links, thoughts, snippets, whatever into wave and your collaborators can review later. You can have multiple people per wave (teams), or multiple waves per contact (different projects). Now I think for a project team, or for a bunch of other uses, that could be really powerful.
I’ve got some invites going spare if you’ve not tried Google Wave and would like to. If I know who you are (or if I don’t and you think you can convince me you deserve one Â then let me know.